Monday, 5 February 2018

Godendag 2018 - Veni,, um...

Godendag 2018 was another exceptional weekend at Firestorm Games. There were several competitions running - l'Arte de la Guerre, DBM, Mortum et Glorium and FoG Renaissance.

My partner in crime for l'Arte de la Guerre doubles competitions is Ralph Ashdown and once again we (OK mostly me) decided that a new army to be finished the day before the competition was just what was needed.

Palmyrans, as mentioned in an earlier post, would be the army of choice for the weekend. Not having anything to fit in with the designated competition period a new army would be required. After all, why use Ralph's Macedonians that are already painted and ready to go when you can buy a paint a completely new army in under a month? Practice games - that's almost cheating!

So I turned up (complete with a speeding fine on the six lane wide Newport Road into Cardiff  - that is allegedly 30mph limit - I must have missed that change due to the high degree of concentration needed to navigate due to most of the road signs not having many vowels in them), and proceeded to put the troops on the table and play.

Palmyran cataphracts and light cavalry advance on the enemy

The first game was against Warring States Chinese. We came second but did a reasonable amount of damage to our opponents before they broke our army. Unfortunately I neglected to take many photos.

Palmyrans against Warring States Chinese - the eventual winners of the competition.

Our second game was against a Late Imperial Roman - we knew something strange was happening when we actually won. Huzzah our first win in our second year of the competition. Next year we are going for two wins.

Cataphracts face off the Late Roman Cavalry

My Saturday evening was spent in the company of the Midlands contingent celebrating Mark Clarke's half century that was looming on the next day. The l'AdlG umpire had arranged a surprise presentation of gifts and cake and a less than tuneful rendition of 'Happy Birthday' by the competitors.

Even a cake was provided on Sunday after the first game with gifts and a song

A birthday gift from Tercio Desperrates

Game 3 on Sunday morning found us facing Southern States Chinese. Heavy chariots and lots of infantry with 2HCW. The whole game hinged around the field in the centre of the table neatly positioned by our opponent. We diced to move/remove it got a 5 so moved it into our deployment area. Just right. They then diced also got a 5 and put it back where they originally had it - right in our way. Even our attempt to narrow the table with a waterway didn't help as the Chinese were boxed up tight on their left flank.

That wretched field

Game 4 saw us facing a Patrician Roman (the army of choice for  a lots of players over the weekend) and the inimitable Tim Porter. Tim and his partner had not been having a good weekend with three losses and all to play for in the last game. Lack of terrain and poor positioning of our troops led to our rapid downfall.
 Just let me roll higher than a 3.
Tim Porter prays to the dice gods for anything but a one

Tim Porter's detailed account of our last game. Opinions are his own!

We had some outstanding die rolls on our right flank and were wearing the Romans down but they outnumbered us and the rest of the battle was already lost.

Overall it was a really good weekend with four interesting games and friendly opponents. We are already planning for next year.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Another New Year and painting resolutions

There is nothing quite like a deadline to focus the mind when it comes to painting a new army. The trouble is I seem to have four on the go at once. Nevertheless, Godendag is looming at the end of January so a new 300 point 15mm army for l'Arte de la Guerre in needed at the double.

Over the Christmas break I have managed to paint six stands of cataphracts and two of light cavalry towards a new Palmyran army. All figures are from Irregular Miniatures.

Hopefully the rest of the army will arrive in the post this week, leaving me around three weeks to paint the other 24 stands plus generals needed.

One interesting thing I uncovered at my parent's home today was an old press cutting from the Evening Echo (Bournemouth) dated 29 June 1974. Hard to believe that after 44+ years I'm still painting figures.

I hope I am still painting figures for another 44!
Happy New Year

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Six months is nothing...

Ok, so I must try harder at this. It seems to have been 17 months this time and so much has been going on. New armies, new rules and some painting - but not as much as I would like,

In terms of new rules i have started playing l'Arte de la Guerre ancients/medieval rules. Armies have been re-based, new armies built and competitions entered and mostly lost. I am enjoying the rules though and find I now have armies in both 15mm and 25/28mm.

Early Imperial Roman commanders to lead my first ADLG army

The Early Imperial Romans didn't do too well in their first outing at Thormbury in Bristol during August 2016.
As I will never play War & Conquest nor WAB the long term Republican Roman Army project is being turned into a new ADLG army. First outing was at a 100 point competition back in Thornbury in August 2017.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Oh dear! Is it really six months?

As someone who mostly writes for a living I am not doing too well at writing my own blog.

I suppose it is a case of so much to do and so little time. Since my last post things have gone fairly slowly on the painting front but buying models and terrain pieces has progressed steadily and thus increasing my personal lead mountain.

I have however gone small - 6mm is making inroads into The Bunker. There has always been 6mm or 1/300 lurking in quiet corners. Last year I 'finished' - yes finished my 6mm Prussian Napoleonic army for Polemos rules. I say 'finished' as I took one look at all I had painted and decided that more cavalry was needed..maybe some more Landwehr? Definitely more officers and artillery and that box of Austrians could do with some attention too. I bought more Prussians and made good progress with the Austrians and then came to a halt about November time.

20mm Valiant WWII had become a priority for some Chain of Command games and a box of 60+ Germans took the field with British infantry close on their jackbooted heels. Americans next.

For Christmas I left subtle hints by making shopping lists of wargames items and leaving them around. It was an unnerving time on Christmas day as presents were revealed and nothing on my lists had appeared - note to self more lists and weblinks next year. However, the last present was on my list a copy of the Team Yankee rules. I was particularly keen to look at these.

Team Yankee was a book about a WWIII scenario set in the early 1980s, written by Harold Coyle. I was lucky to meet Harold Coyle (or HW as a prefence) in 2004 when I went to the Seven Year's War convention in South Bend Indiana and played in his game.  I subsequently bought and read the novel Team Yankee.

Reading the rules over the Christmas break made me realise that Battlefront had made some smashing figures and models but in the wrong scale to my way of thinking. I've never liked the close packed tank formations of Flames of War and although Team Yankee is based on FOW but some different mechanisms the look and feel of the games are similar.

So last weekend I went to Salute and played a game of 15mm Team Yankee - it was quick and fun - but I also picked up the Sabre Squadron rules for modern warfare. I have yet to play these but they have come highly  recommended. I already have Cold War Commander and others have mentioned Fistful of Tows as a good modern set of rules.

So whilst considering which direction I will go in with rules I have been building up 6mm Russian, US and Chinese forces for the 1980s using models from Heroics & Ros and Scotia.

 Today I printed out the Sabre Squadron supplement 'Seven Days to the Rhine' that I bought as a pdf. There are 138 pages of company level organisation for the Warsaw Pact in the 1980s. Yet more reading and more to write about soon...

Monday, 5 October 2015

A SAGA of beginners luck!

It has come to that time of year when the DDWG is once more scheduled to elect or re-elect the committee for the 2015/16 year. The AGM is rarely more than 45 minutes but it means that gaming time will be short; on the plus side my good friend for over 40 years, Paul Martin, will be there for the meeting.
Paul lives in North Dorset and is one of DDWG's affiliate members (a discounted rate for living over 20 mile from Devizes) and only come to the club on the occasional Sunday. The gaming is usually preceded by a curry and it makes a great opportunity to catch up. Yesterday was no different; curry and gaming but what to play?
Not having played SAGA for some time I decided to dust off my Vikings and Normans for a couple of hours of fun. I have almost finished the new huts and fences for my Dark Age village so they made a first outing to the table top.

My Dark Age village is a mix of mdf buildings from a number of manufacturers and scratch built buildings. Wattle fences are from Renadra
Paul opted to use Vikings so I had the Normans and had worked out two matching forces of 6 pts each: 1 general, 1 unit of 4 Hearthguard, 3 units of 8 warriors and one unit of 12 strong Levy bow each.
The fearless Normans deployed for the Viking onslaught
The  Viking raiders prepare their advance
Paul took the initiative and advanced into the village pushing his Thrall bowmen to the fore. The Normans had a fortunate first roll of their Saga dice and managed to fire double their normal range with an ability that killed two of the Thralls facing them. After that it all went downhill for the Normans!
A nice view of the scratch-built huts - maybe the Normans would have been better off hiding in them?
It should not be that difficult to roll high numbers on a D6...but it was yesterday. As for Paul who had brought what he laughingly calls his 'lucky dice' as he normally has dreadful die rolls; well he couldn't throw much below a four for the whole game.
Two Norman units melted away in two moves leaving just four Saga Dice for the Normans to use. The Viking luck held and although two units were down to one man they managed to keep out the way and therefore retain the Saga dice needed to keep the Viking steam-roller coming forward.

Erik the Pink (illegitimate son of Erik the Red and Snow White) leads his unit of Bondi forward to smash the Norman cavalry. The Viking ship grave in the background would not be needed for this game!

It was a fun game and even though the Norman general issued a personal challenge to the Viking leader, deployed as many abilities as he could with four Saga dice he died horribly to the Viking axe.

As it was only Paul's second game of Saga in two years it was a worthy win...or beginners luck? And that is how Sagas are made.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

DDWG Chain of Command weekend

Today is day 2 of the DDWG Chain of Command weekend. At the end of a hard fought Day 1 the British had won a minor victory by achieving their objective. We had to break through the German defences and get at least a section off the German side of the table (at the top of the photo).

The White blobs are smoke laid by he British 2" mortars to block the Germans' line of sight. The red round poker chips are the British jump of points and the blue ones are the German jump off points.
The White poker chips in the centre of the picture covering the woods and fields mark the barrage laid down by German off table heavy mortars. These caused considerable damage to B platoon, pinning them for several phases and killing the Company Commander - lots of bad things happened as a result.
A Platoon was to the right of the road and came on as a our reserves once the Germans had committed troops to capture the right hand jump off point. They then continued to push troops into that flank whilst our 
C platoon pushed forward on a left flank Attack on the weaker German flank - most of whom couldn't see much due to our accurate deployment of smoke.
Today the table has moved such that the British advance will start amongst the fields and over the river bridge towards a German held village. 
We have been having a lot of fun with this set of rules.
God Save the King.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Exploring l'Arte de la Guerre

Last Sunday I played a new(ish) set of rules called l'Arte de la Guerre for ancient and medieval games. Figures are based as per FOG/DBM so I could also use my 10mm Warmaster Armies to play these rules.

However, for this first game I played using my 15mm Khwarizmian (some are over 20 years old!) against Paul's Sassanids.

The terrain system is quite straightforward and as I was to be the attacker  I had the chance of moving some pieces or removing them totally depending on a die roll. We drew deployment maps before setting out our troops. This is done by placing one corps (you split your army between three corps) at a time with the defender placing the first and then the attacker and so on.

To find out what would happen within this rule set my tactics were basic and simple: advance, shoot and charge. That was about it other than the rout after the first three! Well not with all troops. Charging the Sasssanid elephant is not really the sensible option in most rules but I managed a shot before I closed to attack and I managed to pin it for a second round of melee when I managed to kill it. Fortunately the elephant randomly rampaged through adjacent Sassanids rather than my cavalry.

It was a bloody and relatively quick game all to be lost or won hanging on one melee - the victor would win as we were both within two points of breaking our opponent. I came second! The game was great fun and can be played on a relatively small table so contact is quick. A second game is planned for a few weeks time but using 28mm figures.

Unfortunately I did not take any photos but the official web page is here

There are some video guides on YouTube that give a good insight to the game